Rob Andrews has hung up the boots to take up the role of senior coach of the Warrnambool Rangers Football Club

BACK IN GOAL: Warrnambool Rangers' Cameron Pyke will be back on as goal keeper in 2018, as well as becoming Rob Andrews assistant coach. Picture: Rob Gunstone
BACK IN GOAL: Warrnambool Rangers' Cameron Pyke will be back on as goal keeper in 2018, as well as becoming Rob Andrews assistant coach. Picture: Rob Gunstone

NEW WARRNAMBOOL Rangers Football Club senior coach Rob Andrews is excited about the prospect of leading a club driven by its junior stocks.

Andrews, 27, will take over the reigns of the Ballarat and District Soccer Association side from Cameron Pyke, who will be assistant coach and retain his spot as goal keeper.

The Rangers new leader, who moved over from Perth eight months ago, has settled into life in Warrnambool and as coach and is thrilled about the structure of the club.

“The thing I’m most excited about with the Rangers is their set up,” he said.

“They have a lot of kids are coming through the clubs junior ranks and its exciting that we have a few of the 17s coming into the senior ranks this year.

“To be able to have a stepping stone for the club into a strong and senior competition such as the BDSA.

“We are looking if we can get numbers to put in a reserves side too it will allow those 17 and 18-year olds to progress into the senior level more smoothly.

Andrews has never experienced a junior-focused set up, as his last club Kingsley Soccer Club was the complete opposite.

“My last club didn't have that strong junior set up so we had to recruit players,” he said.

“Compared to here where we are lucky that we have got those junior players coming through into the senior side and don’t have to recruit so heavily.”

Andrews, who joined the club four games into last season, highlighted that he and his side still felt the scars of last season’s 3-2 preliminary final loss to eventual premiers Ballarat North United and that it would drive his side for season 2018.

“Last year definitely gave a few of the boys who were there last time a bit of drive,” he said.

“After a few conversations with the boys we are looking to push on from last year and If we can maintain the squad we have got now and the few players we had come down training on Tuesday, I have full confidence we can have a good season.”

The new Rangers leader is happy that former coach Cameron Pyke could stay on as a assistant coach

“It is a big help with player recruitment and he has a bit of a brand in town in the field of soccer,” Andrews said.

“So it’s good to have him around and with the experience he has it will be a good place to go for guidance.

“He is the go to person and is a bit of a leader at the club and where he has an influence on and off the field.”

Andrews first time on the sideline will come in a double-header pre-season friendly against Mount Gambier side International Soccer Club. 

He plans to test players and tactics of his new side ahead of the new season.